Monday, August 20, 2012

Bad book owner

My last class for my AA in Liberal Arts starts tomorrow. It's the required speech class... I am dreading it. I am not so good at the standing up and talking in front of a group of people thing. But it needs to be done, so here I go!

I have had 3 weeks off since my math class ended and I was hoping to have done some more reading in that time, but nope! I bought "The Night Circus" the other day and while I am excited to read it, I havent gotten as far as I would like. Just like with most books in my house, I have read the first chapter and I set it down... And well, it remains unread. I have a book case in my house loaded with unread books, a curse of working in a bookstore, and I am beginning to feel like they are mocking me.  It's like they are looking at me sadly, asking to be read.

I will be done with school in December hopefully then I will be able to get to a few of those books.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Everyday I See Him

It's hard to believe that it's almost been 2 years since my father passed away. It still doesn't feel real sometimes. But I know that it's true, my father is gone.....

But I see him everyday! 

I work in an orthopedic office. Patients come in with walkers, in wheel chairs, with canes or perhaps just a limp. All of these people represent a stage my father went through in the last 7 years before he passed away. They are all looking to get healed or repaired.

I watch the people as they come in our doors and see his face. I listen to them speak and I hear his voice and I wonder about what battles they are fighting and hope that their fate is not similar to my father's.  

The connection between my job and my father didn't really hit me until after I have been there about 2 months... my dad had knee problems, and I work for an orthopedics office... um HELLO?!?! Yea, I was oblivious to it. But now that I am keenly aware, I feel like I "feel" him more or that he is with me more. I feel connected again. The law office drained me so that I lost my connection to him and that scared me. 

I am grateful for this turn of fate. It makes me happy knowing I am a part of the process that gets people the treatment they need. I feel like I am helping my dad! 

Miss you bunches Papa Bear!!! 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Chicken, Beef and Fish... OH MY

Animal protein is the devil....well according to some people it is, or can be. 

I recently watched the movie "Forks Over Knives", a documentary on the way people eat and basically the evilness of dairy and animal proteins. 

The movie states that years and years of research has linked animal protein to multiple incidents of cancer and other life threatening conditions. It is the theory of the doctors in this film that a whole foods based diet can elongate your life and alleviate many health issues that are plaguing millions of people around the world. The movie was educational and insightful. I am a little ovewhelmed by the amount of knowledge I received watching the movie, but I am also eager to implement some of the behaviors they suggested in the movie. So many things surprised me and made me realize that I am not food smart. 

We are introduced to several people in the movie with different health conditions. They start the film on multiple medications and by the end of the film, with the help of the doctors and their guidance for a whole foods diet they are now no longer popping multiple pills or pricking themselves with needles. Shouldn't that be everyone's goal? Not to HAVE to take a pill to prolong your life. I mean look at ALL the health issues that we have developed over the last century or so.. ADHD, Diabetes, Thyroid imbalances, Autism, and multiple different heart related conditions not to mention the slew of food allergens that are out there now... gluten allergies, casein allergies, MSG, red dyes... and the list goes on and on and ON! How can we NOT see the connection between these health concerns and the processed foods that we are now dependent on??

"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease."
Thomas Edison (1847 - 1931)

The more that I have learned about my own health lately the more I tend to agree with the direction of this movie... to some extent. I am not sure about their view on animal protein, but I will agree that a whole food based diet is definitely something we as people should seriously consider. Firefighter has a coworker that has been actively participating in this way of eating and in a year has managed to drop 80 plus pounds. WOW! Having seen his results Firefighter has become a little more interested in some of the views of this way of living. I don't know that he would ever be able to cut out the animal meat all together, I don't know that I will be able to do that either for that matter, but even taking the small steps that he is, it will have an impact. I am glad for this change of perspective from him, even though it wasn't me who opened his eyes to it, but nonetheless he is changing and that is good! I worry about him and the crap he eats while at work, but now is not the time for that topic to be addressed. 

Of course there were people who offered opposing view points in the movie, what would a documentary be without that, but I listen to them and I wonder ... how much are you being paid, and by whom, for your "opinion"? One of the patient's in the movie, who had managed to get her Diabetes so under control she didn't need the meds anymore, went to her physician to get permission to stop taking the medication and her doctor seemed surprised that the patient wanted off the meds. Are you serious? Shouldn't a doctor be promoting a healthier lifestyle so that you don't have to BE on meds?

The way we eat is a real hot button issue right now. And I could go on and on, but for now I will refrain. There are so many facets on this that could be addressed... but where to begin.

Friday, August 3, 2012

I am breaking up ..... with my doctor

I think it's about time, I get a new endocrinologist. 

Nothing really wrong with my current doctor, but I would like to talk to someone with a different point of view and perhaps a different way of attacking my autoimmune disease. 

I looked over my insurance companies website for an endocrinologist and I came across a Reproductive Endocrinologist. 

First thought in my head was... WHOA, those exist? 

Second thought was how do I get to see him?? 

My mission... to get into this doctor. 

He not only does obstetrics, but endocrinology as well, if I understand the websites I have seen. 

I am going to call him and see what the deal is. It would be great to see him for my thyroid and then have him around when I get pregnant. 

In the research that I have done, I have read that people with Grave's disease can get pregnant as long as they are being treated. While I am being treated, I always fear that there is a possibility that pregnancy would be difficult for me. I don't believe that I have been treated to the full potential... I know part of it is me, and my diet, but I know that my meds is part of it as well. 

I truly believe that I need to get my body treated as a whole. Not just the condition. 

I believe that is the problem with specialists, they don't treat the whole body, just their area of expertise.  And they could be missing something else. Something huge! 

Of course there is also the fact that they are being paid by the drug companies to prescribe their drugs to patients, but that is another story for another day! 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sleep.... What's that like again?

Oh sleep how I miss you! I can NOT remember the last time I had a good night's sleep. It's been a while. Lately my pattern seems to be to go to sleep at a decent hour and then wake up at 1 or 3 thinking it's 5am or something. Then I end up falling back to sleep and that makes it more difficult when I have to get up for work. 

I think it can be one of two things... 

1. I may need to have my thyroid meds adjusted. Oh yes the joy of having to take a hormone replacement. Sadly with my condition there is no way of ever actually getting my hormone levels regulated so it's not uncommon to have to have my levels checked over and over and OVER again! Thank god my insurance has kicked in! 

2. I have recently had to abstain from coffee... I KNOW! I miss it so much! But I have had acid reflux so intensely lately that I needed to cut it out for a while, until I am able to get the reflux episodes under control. 

I had been sleeping better previously since we got the TV out of my bedroom. And I have been falling asleep rather easily too as of late, which is a nice change of pace. I honestly do not miss having the TV in my room either which is surprising. 

I started going back to the gym this week. I was hoping that it would help me fall asleep. But ... that didn't work last night. I tossed and turned and didn't sleep well... and then I am yawning all day at work. UGH! Oh well... 

Here's to a good night sleep tonight hopefully! 

Gluten Free is the Way to Be!!!

The latest "fad" way to get healthy is to go gluten free

While some people may believe that going gluten free is a way to lose weight, I believe that it is a way to change the way you feel. 

I have recently discovered that I have to do the gluten free thing. And this didn't come as a diagnosis from a doctor or a decision to jump on the gluten free bandwagon. I did research based on my autoimmune disease, Grave's Disease, and discovered that it is believed that omitting gluten from my diet would affect the way I feel and could inadvertently affect my medicine and my entire body. If the gluten is giving me issues and causing my digestion to be off then that could affect the way that my hormone replacement is absorbed. If it isn't getting absorbed properly than I won't feel good ... see how this works?? 

So I have self diagnosed myself as being gluten intolerant... I know it's not something that would be advised by a doctor, but let's face it, we know our bodies better than doctors do. And it isn't a bad thing to trust your instincts. 

Going gluten free is not the easiest thing to do in the world. You basically have to walk away from all bread, pasta, baked goods, and things you would never suspect like imitation crab meat. There are plenty of foods that you can eat and are perfectly gluten friendly, but at times it can feel like you can't eat anything!  This lifestyle changes forces you to pay more attention to what you are eating and putting into your body. You really need to read the labels and pay attention to all the ingredients. For those people you absolutely can NOT have gluten, Celiacs, they have to completely abstain from any thing that could have possibly touched anything that would have had wheat, barley, or rye in them. The smallest hint of wheat can cause problems for a Celiac. It isn't pretty. I digress, the gluten free way of life forces you to create a more natural diet. 

Above are some of the food items that a gluten intolerant/Celiac person can enjoy. I LOVE the Lara Bars. I have the chocolate chip cookie dough flavor pictured above, but there are a variety of flavors to choose from and though I haven't tried them all I can assume they are all equally delicious. 

Bob's Red Mill Organic quinoa, pronounced keen-wa, is DELICIOUS and SOOO versatile. My favorite way to eat it right now is with tomato, avocado, olive oil, garlic and balsalmic vinegar. It's delicious. I need to broaden my horizons and try out more recipes. 

This is also the first time that I have purchased the Ancient Harvest Quinoa pasta. I am anxious to try it. I have tried the Pasta Joy brand pasta, which is a brown rice pasta, and it's good and you can't really taste a difference between that and normal pasta, there is a difference. 

The real challenge lies in eating out... What a fricking ridiculous fiasco that is. I love... LOVE fried calamari at Olive Garden, and guess what?? Can't have it anymore. The fact is that there is no way of knowing if there is gluten in any of the items on the menu. Slowly but surely there are more restaurants coming around and offering gluten free items on the menu. For the most part the gluten free items consist of all non-pasta dishes and no sandwiches. Jason's Deli offers sandwiches with gluten free bread... and it wasn't horrible. But try to buy bread in the grocery store... $8.00! 

Oy vey is it expensive to eat clean, healthy and gluten free. It's such a hard thing to do, change the way you eat, basically live, completely. 

Walking away from things you love and enjoy is never easy. You need to have incredible will power..and faith. It's hard at times when people around you are eating the delicious goodies that you can't, it makes it that much more difficult. 

But life it ain't easy.